web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Flip Your Latkes In The Air: A Cappella Group’s Chanukah Video Passes 2 Million YouTube Hits


It’s another Chanukah miracle: a small group of Jewish men defy the odds and emerge victorious. But this time there was no war, no bloodshed and instead of an army of Maccabees, the conquering heroes are the a cappella group Maccabeats, 14 current and former students from Yeshiva University. Their hit song “Candlelight,” a take-off on Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite,” has gone viral and reached over two million hits on YouTube in just 10 days.

 

Founded four years ago by Michael Greenberg, who is still a member of the Maccabeats, their debut album “Voices From The Heights,” released this past March, was a modest success. It took eight months for their first music video that posted online – “One Day,” a version of the Matisyahu hit song – to reach 100,000 hits on YouTube. That song was recorded in one of the singer’s closets.

 

But the success of “Candlelight” has been nothing short of meteoric, and mostly unprecedented for an Orthodox-themed song from an Orthodox group.

 

“We figured it would have a nice following in Yeshiva University, maybe in the centrist Orthodox community, but we never expected anything like this,” said Julian Horowitz, the 23-year-old musical director of the Maccabeats. “Immanuel Shalev, our associate director, came up with idea and we ran with it. After all, with a name like Maccabeats, Chanukah is definitely our holiday.”

 

Fellow Maccabeat, 22-year-old Ari Lewis, a Richmond, Virginia senior who is majoring in business management, concurs. “It has been such a crazy ride. We were dreaming of maybe one day getting 750,000 hits. We never expected to hear it on the radio, or see it in the New York Times.”

 

In fact, the Maccabeats are everywhere these days. CBS local news, NBC local news, Wall Street Journal, cnn.com, the home pages of both MTV and AOL, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, the Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, and on and on. The New York Times reports that the song has also been played by radio stations Z-100 and WPLJ.

 

The song itself, filmed and edited by Uri Westrich, a Mount Sinai Medical Student, with lyrics by Maccabeats’ Shalev and David Block, manages to synthesize the story of Chanukah in a way that has across the board appeal. The pop sound and visually-appealing images are safe enough to appeal to the Orthodox crowd, but the well-produced video is professional enough to impress non-religious Jews, unaffiliated Jews and non-Jews as well.

 

Buri Rosenberg of Monsey, another undergraduate Maccabeat, theorizes that the success of Candlelight comes from “making something that is ‘poppy’ but at the same time meaningful.”

 

Feedback from the public has been overwhelming, and the Maccabeats are taking turns answering the e-mails that keep pouring in. 

 

“I get e-mails saying ‘you made me observe Chanukah for the first time in 20 years,’” said Horowitz. “We are touching people who are frum and people who aren’t frum but are moving in that direction. If you just put a little thought into making religion a little fun and a little relevant you can touch so many people in so many ways.”

 

“I must have answered 100 e-mails today,” said Lewis. “And by the time I was done, there must have been another 100 new ones.  It has been so phenomenal and we have gotten so much positive feedback, from parents about their kids, from teachers about their students, from Orthodox Jews, unaffiliated Jews, non-Jews, so many emotional comments. We feel so special that we were able to touch so many people’s lives.”

 

The Maccabeats continue to share their special brand of music with the public, appearing this past week at Flatbush High School, Manhattan Day School and at Prime KO. They will also be appearing at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse at on Sunday, December 26. For more information, check out the Maccabeats on Facebook.

 

 

Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who has written for various Jewish newspapers, magazines and websites in addition to having written song lyrics and scripts for several full-scale productions.  She can be contacted at sandyeller1@gmail.com.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Flip Your Latkes In The Air: A Cappella Group’s Chanukah Video Passes 2 Million YouTube Hits”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Bibi: ‘Death From Above, Death From Below’ Will Not Continue
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

More Articles from Sandy Eller
A-Night-Out-logo

The chicken and waffle nuggets were fabulous and were like chicken in a dessert form.

Eller-071114-Book

The Open Kitchen is so appealing you practically want to eat the pages as you turn them.

Glob on the sunscreen, break out the darkest chocolate you can find and let the sun shine in!

Both mains were clearly prepared with an expert hand and could only be described as heavenly.

If you are spending the time in the kitchen, make it worth the effort. Make it taste good. Make it look nice.

For those of us who have no choice but to drive, we need to find ways to make that overpriced tank of gas last as long as possible.

No dairy cookbook would be complete without an array of sinfully decadent treats and there are plenty of those here as well, including three cheesecakes, one of which weighs in at a very slimming 180 calories or less.

The rule of thumb in education these days: provide the kids who don’t shine academically with a venue to shine in other ways.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/flip-your-latkes-in-the-air-a-cappella-groups-chanukah-video-passes-2-million-youtube-hits/2010/12/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: